2023 for aviation in Singapore can be described in a single word: Rebound. Throughout 2023, the aviation community in Singapore has seen a massive increase of traffic into Changi and Seletar Airport. With air travel recovery in full swing across the globe, we saw airlines like Garuda Indonesia and Korean Air increased their number of flights to Singapore significantly, allowing aviation spotters to be treated to an array of aircraft types from their fleets, such as the Boeing 747-8 and the Boeing 777-300 from Korean Air.
We also saw the appearance of airlines like Air Premia, Sky Angkor Airlines and transNusa, and many others. With travel ramping up for smaller and less popular destinations, we also started to see our local and regional low cost carriers debuting or making their return to places like Sibu and Krabi.
This year also saw the appearance of many special liveries here, which was a major treat for many planespotters. Some of the specials that made its appearance were the fabled Lufthansa retro D-ABYT, the Qantas Yam Dreamer and 100 Years special liveries VH-ZND and VH-ZNJ. Additionally, the team had opportunities to snap some rare birds like an ex-Singapore Airlines Airbus A340-500 now operating for LasVegas Sands, an Omega Air Tanker DC-10, etc.
Touring military open houses
2023 was also a year of military airshows in the Southeast Asian region, with no less than 3 major airshow events that the team was able to attend. The next section is courtesy of our military aviation writer and web administrator Bryan Wong.
RTAF Children's Day Open House 2023
We kicked off 2023 with a visit to Kamphaeng Saen Airport for the annual Royal Thai Air Force Children's Day Open House 2023. This year, the open house was held at Kamphaeng Sean Aviation School instead of the usual Don Mueang RTAF Base. The RTAF exhibited their various assets both in their aerial and static displays. Some of the key assets include the Korean-built FA-50, the F-16B Fighting Falcon and the Northrop F-5. To see more details, check out our Bryan's review of the event: Royal Thai Airforce Children's Day Open House 2023
Langkawi International and Maritime Aerospace Exhibition 2023
Resuming after a hiatus in 2021, the Langkawi International and Maritime Aerospace Exhibition 2023 returned earlier this year. Lima 2023 saw the attendance of around 600 companies from 20 countries, showing off both civilian and military aircraft. Highlights from the event included aircraft such as the Airbus A220 and Embraer E195-E2 being put up on static display. Display teams such as the Republic of Korea Air Force's Black Eagles as well as the Russian Knights participated in the aerial display. We release two articles on the event:
RSAF Open House 2023
The RSAF Open House returned this year after 6 years, this year with the Open House in celebration of the RSAF's 55th anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, the RSAF painted two of their F-15SGs in commemorative tail art. This year, the RSAF Open House featured a unique 'phygital' experience, merging both physical and digital aspects with the introduction of the RSAF55OH Digital Experience Webapp. The open house allowed the public to get up close to various assets of the RSAF.
Within the APP Team
Within our team, there have been a few significant updates. We have unveiled the "AirTalk" series, where we interview and feature passionate and enthusiastic people in aviation. In contrast to our "People In Aviation" series, these articles focus solely on one person in the entire article. If you are or know anyone working in the aviation industry, feel free to reach out to us for an interview session! We will be more than happy to feature you or your friend in one of our aviation stories series!
What's New For 2024?
2024 promises to be an exciting year for plane spotters and aviation enthusiasts alike, with the Singapore Airshow 2024 in the works and planned for 20-25 February, with 24-25 February earmarked as the public dates. While the details of aircraft that will be on show has yet to be confirmed, we can could expect the Boeing 777-9 and the Airbus A321XLR to make an appearance, as well as a whole host of military aircraft like specific variants of the F-15s.
Internally, the APP team is also looking into further developing our repertoire in aviation-elated articles, and we have some interesting concepts in the pipeline, so do stay tuned!